3 ways to disable Steam Auto Updates for good

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
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  • It seems that every time you start up Steam, there is an update for either the client or multiple games.
  • Whilst it is a good practice to keep your software updated, sometimes you need the bandwidth for something else.
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turn off Steam Auto Updates

Auto updates, in general, can be easily turned on or off in any app. However, that’s not the case with Steam auto updates because there is no option to fully stop the updates.

By default, Steam auto updates the games in the background whenever there is a network connection available. In this way, the games are always up to date and the user doesn’t have to worry about that.

But if the Auto update process begins in background while you do some intense network task, then that’s a problem. Things will slow down significantly. That’s especially true for users with limited connections.

Can I disable Steam‘s automatic updates? Yes, you can by changing the auto update schedule. By default, is set to all the time and if you don’t change it, it will eat up all your internet connection. You can also disable the auto update for only one game at a time, or stop the Steam startup process altogether.

How to stop Steam from automatically updating games

  1. Change the Auto update schedule
  2. Stop the Auto update on a single game
  3. Disable Steam’s startup process
  4. Disable Steam Client auto-update

1. Change the Auto update scheduleSteam settings stop auto update

  1. Launch Steam
  2. In the top menu, choose Steam/View and then Settings
  3. In the left side-panel click on Downloads
  4. In the right section, under Download Restrictions, check Only auto-update games between option and then insert a time frame that fits your needs the best.Steam settings disable auto updates on windows 10

To avoid future problems with updates, you can set certain update schedules outside your working hours. A good time will be late at night when you don’t use your Windows 10 PC for anything.

We have to mention that this solution applies for future updates only. If a game is already scheduled with an update, then you won’t be able to play it until you’ll update it.

Additionally, you can also limit the bandwidth for downloading updates just in the case sometimes the background update is running while you use your Windows 10 computer.

To do that, just follow the steps above and right next to Download Restrictions you will see a Limit bandwidth to drop-down menu. Choose the lowest amount possible (usually 16kb/s).


Steam access denied: You’ll say thank you for this guide


2. Stop the Auto update on a single gamegame proprieties stop steam auto update

  1. Launch Steam
  2. Go to Library
  3. Right-click a certain game that you’re interested in and select Proprieties
  4. A new window will appear. Click on Updates tab
  5. Under the Automatic updates click the drop-down menu
  6. Now you have 3 options: Always keep this game up-to date, Only update this game when I launch it, High Priority: Always auto-update this game before others. Select the Only update this game when I launch it option.
  7. Remember to disable your internet connection every time before starting the respective game.

This solution allows you to stop all auto-updates on a single game. It has been confirmed by many users and it is very effective.

If your internet connection is disabled, Steam won’t be able to connect to the servers and the auto-update process won’t start. You will be able to play the game without any interruptions.

Although the solution works like a charm, it will be a bit tedious if you have a lot of games in the Library.


3. Disable Steam’s startup process

  1. Launch Steam
  2. In the top menu, choose Steam/View and then Settingshow to stop auto updates on steam
  3. In the left side-panel, choose Interface
  4. Uncheck Run Steam when my computer starts
  5. Save and Exit

By default, Steam processes start in the background when the Windows 10 PC starts. In this way, Steam is making sure that the auto-update runs all the time in the background and keeps you games up-to-date.

Now Steam won’t automatically open when you start Windows 10 and the update process will only take place when you decide, by opening Steam or a Steam game.


Can’t turn off Steam’s auto-start? This guide will help you


4. Disable automatic updates for the Steam Client

disable steam client automatic update

Method 1: Add start attributes to the Steam shortcut

  1. Right-click on your Steam desktop icon
  2. Go to Properties
  3. Go to the Target field
  4. Add the following startup arguments after then path:
    • -noverifyfiles -nobootstrapupdate -skipinitialbootstrap -norepairfiles -overridepackageurl

Method 2: Block the Steam client from updating

  1. Open Notepad
  2. Write down the following line: BootStrapperInhibitAll=Enable
  3. Save the file in the Steam installation folder as Steam.cfg

Method 3: Enable Hibernation

  1. Go to Power Options
  2. Enable Hibernation
  3. Instead of shutting down your PC, select Hibernate

How to enable Hibernation in Windows 10


Whilst there are ways of prohibiting the Steam client from updating, you should know that this is highly discouraged, as Valve is updating the security and stability of the client constantly. By not updating your client to the latest version you are putting yourself at risk.

However, this might be something you need to do temporarily, for instance, if you are downloading a huge game and your download will take several days, you can’t shut down your system as the downloaded files will be lost. Hibernation will keep the current state of your system and your download will resume.

That being said, there are better ways of going about downloading large games, such as speeding up your Steam download speeds.

What’s your all-time favourite Steam game? Leave the answer in the comments section below along with any other question you may have.


FAQ: Disable Steam auto-update

  • How do I stop Steam from updating on startup?

You can stop the Steam client from updating by using Hibernation or inhibiting the update service with startup commands. You can also create a config file that stops the update service.

  • How do I disable Steam autostart?

As mentioned in our guide, you can turn off the auto-start from the Steam client settings, or by blocking Steam via Task Manager.

  • How do I stop Skyrim from updating on Steam?
  1. Right-click on the game from your Steam library
  2. Go to Properties > Updates
  3. Click on the Automatic Updates dropdown menu
  4. Select Only Update this game when I launch it

This method will work with any game installed through the Steam client.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.